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Ohio Divorce Laws

Just as there are legal requirements for getting married (such as consent, age, etc.), states also regulate the divorce process. In Ohio, the divorce laws include the possibility of a court-ordered conciliation period for as much as 90 days, while the plaintiff -- the person filing for divorce -- must have been a state resident for at least six months.

Ohio law allows no-fault divorce (at most, requiring the spouses to remain physically separated for one year), but calls the legal process a dissolution. The Ohio Supreme Court provides downloads of forms for Ohio Dissolution without Children and Ohio Dissolution with Children. For a divorce, which requires fault in Ohio, state code lists the following grounds:

  • Either party had a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage from which the divorce is sought
  • Willful absence of the adverse party for one year
  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Fraudulent contract
  • Any gross neglect of duty
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Imprisonment of the adverse party in a state or federal correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint

If seeking a divorce on one or more of the above grounds and want to download forms, following the links for Divorce without Children or Divorce with Children. Some uncontested divorces without children may be reconciled without an attorney. But more often, parties to a divorce are better off hiring a lawyer, particularly if the other party is represented.

Learn more about Ohio's divorce laws in the table below. See FindLaw's extensive Divorce section for more articles and resources.

Code Section 3105 et seq.
Residency Requirements Plaintiff must have been resident 6 months.
Waiting Period Decree immediately final, but court may order conciliation period for up to 90 days.
'No Fault' Grounds for Divorce Separation (1 yr.); incompatibility (unless denied by other party).
Defenses to a Divorce Filing -
Other Grounds for Divorce Adultery; cruelty or violence; desertion; alcohol addiction; imprisonment; prior marriage undissolved; fraudulent contract; other party procures a divorce out of state; gross neglect of duty.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact an Ohio divorce attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Ohio Legal Requirements for Divorce: Related Resources

Getting Divorced in Ohio? An Attorney Can Help

Deciding to take steps to dissolve your marriage is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever have to make. This is particularly true if you have children together. But you don't have to go through this process by yourself. There are skilled divorce lawyers available to help you understand Ohio's divorce laws and how they will impact you.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Divorces are tough and a lawyer can seek the best outcome
  • A lawyer can help protect your children's interests
  • Divorce lawyers can secure alimony, visitation rights, and property division

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